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Segmentation: Trends, Uses, Case Studies


Women as Brand Decision-Makers

Some of the earliest, and most blatant, forms of segmentation in advertising appeared in the 1950’s. In this time, companies realized that there had been a shift in brand decision-making in the home to the household wife. It is she who decides what laundry detergent her family will use, the condiments they will put on their sandwich, down to the toothpaste they will brush with each day. It was during this time that women became powerful beacons for testimonial and brand loyalty, which is why a vast majority of print advertising in that decade and beyond has been targeted toward women ages 25-55. In fact, reports that even in today’s landscape, “85% of all brand purchases are made by women”, a staggering rate that is hard to ignore by advertisers.


This age 8-12 category has recently taken off as a highly desired group for advertisers to target toward. Not quite yet a ‘teenager’ but not treating this target as a ‘child’ has worked wonders for advertisers. Another significant factor to the rise of this sought-after demographic can be allotted to the fact that this generation was “Born to Buy”, demonstrating a shift in attitudes in spending and decision-making in purchases. As this age group begins to ‘make their mark’ and find their own identity, tweens want the brands that will help them make a statement that shows they are older and cooler. This age-old approach targets insecurities that come with the demographic and the group’s need to do whatever they can, often paying top dollar for brands that will help them embody the image of ‘cool’. The cause of this sudden shift by a growing number of advertisers toward this category is that ‘tweens’ now have more power than ever to influence that purchase made by their parents.

We’re Watching You: Location-based Advertising

Have you ever been outside on a run with your iPhone or Android, listening to Pandora, and all of a sudden, a woman’s voice interrupts your stride to Lady Gaga with “Hey New Yorkers, here is a LivingSocial deal just for you?” Well this happens to me just about every single day. If not, Living Social, then for another nearby restaurant, salon, or service that I may have already been considering. Segmentation in today’s world has taken quite a significant leap forward, in that, advertisers aren’t just “predicting” anymore which demographics they are reaching; instead there are deep, deep databases full of user information, behaviors, and interests and advertisers can reach exactly the type of woman or man, age, interest, geographic location, and lifestyle they want to target their product or service with, making those advertising dollars that much more efficient and reducing the risk of falling on deaf ears. I have to say, that I am a prime example that this type of targeting works: I have not yet unsubscribed to Living Social emails, I read them every morning, have amassed about five unused certificates in my inbox, and keep buying more, but that is an issue to be addressed on another day.



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